Mar 042019
 March 4, 2019  Posted by at 10:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Robert Frank London 1951-52


US, China Said To Appear Close To Deal To Roll Back Tariffs (R.)
Beijing To Encourage ‘Shadow’ Lending To Boost Growth – China Economist (CNBC)
Beijing Locked Down For China’s Greatest Political Spectacle (G.)
Huawei: Meng Wanzhou Sues Canadian Government Over Arrest (AP)
May Accused Of £1.6bn Brexit ‘Bribe’ Over New Fund For Deprived Towns (Ind.)
Russia Tells US It Is Ready For Bilateral Talks On Venezuela (R.)
Roger Stone Suggests In Instagram Post Robert Mueller ‘Framed’ Him (CNBC)
Donald Trump Facing Major New Investigation Into ‘Abuse Of Power’ (Ind.)
America’s Trust In Mainstream Media Hits Rock Bottom (SCF)
Trump Blames Timing Of Cohen Testimony For Collapse Of Kim Jong-Un Summit (G.)
US Voters Overwhelmingly Reject “Socialists” And Candidates “Over 75” (ZH)
Carpocalypse Now: We’re In The Endgame For Cars (BI)
Toxic Agrochemicals And Regulators’ Collusion With Industry (OffG)
Endangered Fruit Bats ‘Being Driven To Extinction’ In Mauritius (Ind.)



Can’t wait to see the details

US, China Said To Appear Close To Deal To Roll Back Tariffs (R.)

The United States and China appear close to a deal that would roll back U.S. tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, a source briefed on negotiations said on Sunday. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could seal a formal trade deal at a summit around March 27 given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. In an eight-month trade war, the United States has imposed punitive tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports from China, while Beijing has hit back with tariffs on $110 billion worth of U.S. goods, including soybeans and other commodities.

The actions have roiled financial markets, disrupted manufacturing supply chains and reduced U.S. farm exports. Trump administration officials have said they expect the two presidents to “close” a deal at a summit in coming weeks at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The source briefed on the talks said that no dates for a summit had been determined, but that Beijing had reserved a 10-day window from around March 20 for a possible summit. Many details still needed to be worked out, including the terms of an enforcement mechanism to ensure that Beijing follows through on pledges to make changes to policies to better protect U.S. intellectual property, end forced technology transfers and curb industrial subsidies.

Another source familiar with the talks said that Washington and Beijing were close to agreement on non-enforcement issues, including China’s pledges to increase purchases of farm, energy and manufactured products, as well as six agreements on structural policy changes.

Read more …

Xiang Songzuo is the same economist who is December said Chinese GDP growth was just 1.67%. But openly saying that Xi is selling his soul to the shadows is quite the statement again. How’s that linked to the tariffs deal?

Beijing To Encourage ‘Shadow’ Lending To Boost Growth – China Economist (CNBC)

After tamping down on shadow banking in the last few years, China will now likely encourage such lending to boost economic growth, a Chinese economist told CNBC on Monday ahead of the country’s annual parliamentary session. “The top agenda of (the) NPC this year is to design policies to prevent further decline (of growth rate),” said Xiang Songzuo, professor at Renmin University in Beijing, referring to the National People’s Congress, which kicks off on Tuesday. “I think this year, regulators will encourage more shadow banking financing, particularly to the private sector,” said Xiang, who was previously a deputy director at the People’s Bank of China and chief economist at the Agricultural Bank of China.

Shadow banking refers to activities performed by financial firms outside the formal banking sector, and therefore subject to lower levels of regulatory oversight and higher risks. According to Xiang, Chinese officials have moved from talking about cutting debt to stabilizing the economy. China’s GDP target last year was around 6.5%. Sources have told Reuters that Beijing will likely set a growth target of between 6.0 to 6.5% in 2019. Shadow banking is “coming back,” Xiang said. In addition to spending more on infrastructure, Beijing will also need to stimulate the economy through lending, particularly to the private sector, he added. [..] Beijing will need to tread a tightrope as it faces the dilemma of what increased shadow lending could bring, said Xiang. “On the one hand, they need shadow banking to finance investment; but on the other hand, they (need to) try to control the potential risks,” he added.

Read more …

Orwell lives!

Beijing Locked Down For China’s Greatest Political Spectacle (G.)

China’s largest political event of the year, a meeting of legislative delegates and political advisers known as the “two sessions”, gets under way this week and comes at a time when Chinese leader Xi Jinping faces one of the most challenging periods since coming to power. Thousands of delegates will descend on the Great Hall of the People in Beijing while authorities go into overdrive to prevent any semblance of dissent during the two weeks of meetings of the 3,000-strong National People’s Congress (NPC) , and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), an advisory body. Xi faces public scrutiny against the backdrop of a slowing Chinese economy, a bruising trade war with the US, heightened international concern over Chinese tech firm Huawei, and growing global criticism over Chinese policies in Xinjiang.

[..] Debate among delegates, scholars, and political observers will be even more constrained this year. Notices ahead of the meeting instruct party members on the “right way to build the party” banning over-the-top praise of the party as well as criticism. “People can’t talk normally, and now even this kind of expression is forbidden. It shows this is a very sensitive period,” said Zhang Lifan, a historian based in Beijing who follows elite Chinese politics. “I’m afraid party committees have taken many preventive measures, to prevent any sensitive speech that can lead to a chaos during the meeting.” He believes discussion of economic issues and the trade war are inevitable. “I think there will still be some ways of talking about the political system, not in direct ways, but using the economy,” he said.

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This will hurt Canada much more than the US.

Huawei: Meng Wanzhou Sues Canadian Government Over Arrest (AP)

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese technology company Huawei, is suing the Canadian government, its border agency and the national police force over her high-profile detention. Meng claims they detained, searched and interrogated her before telling her she was under arrest. Lawyers for Meng said on Sunday they had filed a notice of civil claim in the British Columbia supreme court. Canada arrested Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, at the request of the US on 1 December at Vancouver airport. US prosecutors will accuse her of misleading banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran. Meng’s lawsuit alleges that instead of immediately arresting her, authorities interrogated her “under the guise of a routine customs” examination and used the opportunity to “compel her to provide evidence and information”.

The suit also claims Canada Border Service Agency agents seized her electronic devices, obtained passwords and unlawfully viewed the contents and intentionally failed to adviser her of the true reasons for her detention. The suit said only after three hours was she told she was under arrest and had right to counsel. “This case concerns a deliberate and pre-meditated effort on the part of the defendant officers to obtain evidence and information from the plaintiff in a manner which they knew constituted serious violations of the plaintiff’s rights,” the claim says. Meng has been released on bail and is living in Vancouver awaiting extradition proceedings.

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25 days. Desperation creeps in. May is bribing Labour MPs.

May Accused Of £1.6bn Brexit ‘Bribe’ Over New Fund For Deprived Towns (Ind.)

The government has been accused of “bribing” MPs to back Theresa May‘s Brexit deal after announcing a new £1.6bn fund to help deprived towns. The “Stronger Towns Fund“ will offer investment to places that have not benefited from economic growth as much as other parts of the country, ministers said. The government said the money would be used to create jobs, train local people and boost investment, but critics said it was an attempt to convince Labour MPs in Leave-voting areas to back Ms May’s withdrawal agreement, and was not enough to offset the impact of Brexit. £1bn of the funding will be allocated to areas across the country, with more than half going to towns in the north of England. The other £600m will be available for local authorities to bid for.

Of the money being directly allocated by the government, the north west will receive the most, with £281m, followed by the west Midlands (£212m) and Yorkshire and the Humber (£197m). Announcing the fund, Ms May said: ”For too long in our country prosperity has been unfairly spread. Our economy has worked well for some places but we want it to work for all communities. “Communities across the country voted for Brexit as an expression of their desire to see change – that must be a change for the better, with more opportunity and greater control. “These towns have a glorious heritage, huge potential and, with the right help, a bright future ahead of them.”

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Doubt that Bolton is interested.

Russia Tells US It Is Ready For Bilateral Talks On Venezuela (R.)

Russia is ready to take part in bilateral talks with the United States over the issue of Venezuela, Russia’s foreign minister told his U.S. counterpart late on Saturday. The situation in Venezuela was the main topic in a phone call between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that took place on March 2, Russia’s foreign ministry said on its website. “In connection with Washington’s proposal to hold bilateral consultations on the Venezuelan topic, it was stated that Russia is ready to participate in this,” the ministry said in a statement.

It was “vital to be strictly guided by the principles of the UN Charter since only the Venezuelan people have the right to determine their future,” the statement said. Russia and the United States have been at loggerheads over a U.S.-led campaign for international recognition of Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader who declared himself the interim head of state, over President Nicholas Maduro. In the phone call, initiated by the United States, Lavrov condemned the threats that Washington made towards “the country’s lawful leadership,” the ministry said, referring to Maduro.

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You can’t put Stone under quasi house arrest and expect him to be quiet. He’ll end up doing crazy stuff.

Roger Stone Suggests In Instagram Post Robert Mueller ‘Framed’ Him (CNBC)

Roger Stone on Sunday suggested he has been “framed” by special counsel Robert Mueller in an Instagram post that appeared to run afoul of a judge’s barely week-old gag order barring President Donald Trump’s longtime friend from criticizing the prosecutors in the criminal case against him. Stone deleted the only image in that multi-image post that included “Who framed Roger Stone” language shortly after CNBC emailed his lawyer to ask about it. Stone’s post was put online less than 48 hours after the judge, Amy Berman Jackson, ordered lawyers for the admitted Republican “dirty trickster” to explain why they did not tell her earlier about the planned publication of a book by Stone that could violate her gag order on him.

Stone announced on Instagram in January that he was coming out with the book, “The Myth of Russian Collusion: The Inside Story of How Trump Really Won.” In her gag order in U.S District Court in Washington, D.C., Jackson barred Stone from “making statements to the media or in public settings about the Special Counsel’s investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case.” The gag extends to “posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other form of social media.” If Stone violates the order, Jackson could order him jailed without bail until his trial.

Stone’s new post is comprised of a rotating series of images that ask for money to support Stone’s defense to charges that he lied to Congress and tampered with a witness. One says, “I am committed to proving my innocence. But I need your help.” Another photo, which shows a young Stone standing behind Trump years ago, says, “I’ve always had Trump’s back. Will you have mine?” Two other images tout a “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong” t-shirt and “Stone Cold Truth” sweatshirt.

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Nadler, Schiff, Mark Warner, they’re on a publicity tour to keep collusion alive just as it’s dying.

Donald Trump Facing Major New Investigation Into ‘Abuse Of Power’ (Ind.)

The US House Judiciary Committee will launch a probe into possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by Donald Trump. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the committee, told ABC that the panel wanted to obtain documents from more than 60 people and entities as part of the investigation. Documents from Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, are among those wanted by the panel. “We are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption … and into obstruction of justice,” Mr Nadler said. “It’s our job to protect the rule of law.” “It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice,” he said. But the congressman added that it was too soon to consider the possibility of impeachment.

“Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen,” he said. The politician said the committee would release the full list of people and organisations it would be seeking information from on Monday. He said that the president’s firing of James Comey, who at the time was leading an investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US election, was evidence of Mr Trump’s obstruction. The congressman also cited what he described as Mr Trump’s attempts to intimidate witnesses involved in the probe. “I am an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt that is illegal & should never have been allowed to start,” Donald Trump said on Twitter, in response to the announcement. “Despite this, great success!”

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Gee, how can it be?

America’s Trust In Mainstream Media Hits Rock Bottom (SCF)

Things are going from bad to worse for the US legacy media as its trust credentials have reached an all-time new low, as if that were possible. It has even achieved a lower trust rating than lawyers and members of Congress. The introduction to the CJR poll provided the following ominous opening: “For decades, we’ve known that Americans don’t trust the press. What we haven’t known is how people view the makings of journalism, from the use of fact checkers and anonymous sources to the question of whether money skews journalistic decision-making. This new national poll for CJR answers those questions, and points to how big the trust gap remains.” Indeed, the cynicism on the street should have every mainstream media purveyor in a state of absolute panic.

In one particular finding, it was revealed that many news consumers believe that reporters, seemingly in an effort to push forward with a political agenda, are too quick to run with a story before knowing all of the facts. This has never been more true before than in the Trump era where anything goes, so long as it trashes conservatives. We have just witnessed ample proof of that media tendency in several high-profile cases. This week, attorneys for Nick Sandmann, a student from Covington Catholic High School, filed a lawsuit against the Washington Post, seeking $250 million in damages for negligence. Sandmann and his fellow students became the target of false accusations of racism during a trip to Washington, D.C.

The mainstream media, as well as many politicians and celebrities, pushed the story that the young student, a Trump supporter, had taunted an elderly Native American Indian near the Lincoln Memorial. The story quickly fell apart, however, after video of the encounter and eyewitness accounts destroyed the media version of events. Attorneys for the boy claim that the Bezos-owned newspaper “wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C.” Todd McMurtry, one of the attorneys for the Catholic student, called the Washington Post “a weaponized news outlet that used its power and strength to destroy Nick Sandmann’s reputation.”

[..] When asked how much confidence they had in the media, almost 70 percent of Republican respondents answered “hardly any confidence at all,” while just 25 percent of Democrats held a similar opinion.

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Well, not entirely; he merely named it as a factor.

Trump Blames Timing Of Cohen Testimony For Collapse Of Kim Jong-Un Summit (G.)

US president Donald Trump has blamed that the Democrats’ decision to interview his longtime fixer, lawyer Michael Cohen, on the same day as a meeting with Kim Jong-un for the fact that the North Korea summit ended with no deal. “For the Democrats to interview in open hearings a convicted liar & fraudster, at the same time as the very important Nuclear Summit with North Korea, is perhaps a new low in American politics and may have contributed to the ‘walk.’” Trump said on Twitter, referring to his decision to walk away from what he previously said was a bad deal with Kim. “Never done when a president is overseas. Shame!” Last week in Hanoi, Trump and Kim met for the second time to try to negotiate a deal that would surrender some of North Korea’s nuclear weapons arsenal in return for sanctions relief. After talks fell apart over the issue of sanctions, Trump told a media conference “sometimes you have to walk”.

At the same time in Washington, Trump’s former aide Cohen was testifying before the US House of Representatives’ oversight committee, accusing Trump of ordering his personal attorney to make threats for him about 500 times over the past 10 years. He also called the president a liar, racist and conman. When asked about Cohen’s testimony at a press conference on Thursday in Hanoi after Trump had abruptly decided to end the summit with Kim early, the president called the allegations “incorrect” and criticised the decision to have the hearing while he was away. “I tried to watch as much as I could,” Trump said. “I wasn’t able to watch too much because I’ve been a little bit busy, but I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing.”

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It doesn’t get more obvious.

US Voters Overwhelmingly Reject “Socialists” And Candidates “Over 75” (ZH)

[..] in the latest indication that the odds in the general election would be heavily stacked against Bernie, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll revealed that only 25% of respondents ranked “socialist” as a desirable trait for a candidate. And only 37% said “someone over 75” would be a desirable candidate, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, more voters said they would accept a candidate who was gay or a lesbian, or an Independent under the age of 40. Critically, the survey showed that 41% of voters would definitely or likely vote for Trump in 2020, while 48% said they would probably vote for the Democratic candidate. But, in a possible silver lining for Sanders and his “political revolution”, 55% of voters said they would support a candidate who would implement major changes (as Trump did), vs. 42% who said they wouldn’t.

“We’re getting early signals from Democratic primary voters that they are looking for bigger change and someone who agrees with them on policy,” said Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who worked on the survey. Republicans in the White House, Congress and in the media have made “socialism” a significant point of attack as the election draws closer, ripping proposals for expanded access to Medicare, the so-called Green New Deal, and other Democratic priorities. And though only 41% of respondents said they would support Trump in 2020, a majority said they had a favorable view of the Trump economy, and few expect a recession in the coming year. “As long as these economic numbers look like this, that always keeps an incumbent president in the race,” McInturff said.

[..] only 38% of respondents said they would support a third-party candidate in 2020. Meanwhile, Trump’s approval rating ticked higher in January from 43% to 46%. [..] Trump’s approval rating ticked up to 46 percent from 43 percent in January. He had the support of 88 percent of Republicans. Thirty-seven percent of GOP primary voters said they’d like to see another Republican challenge Trump in 2020, while 59 percent said they were opposed to that.

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I’m all for ending teh scourge that cars have become. But why do we need a bunch of US investors for that? And do these people realize that we won’t pay for the upkeep of the roads once we ditch our cars? It’s going to be public transport, not Lyft cars.

Carpocalypse Now: We’re In The Endgame For Cars (BI)

The founders of the ride-sharing app Lyft filed their IPO papers last week, and their vision for the company is dramatic. Lyft (which works a bit like Uber) is not just about getting you from A to B, they say. Rather, founders Logan Green and John Zimmer believe that car ownership is in permanent decline and they want to help it die, they write in their S-1 filing. “We believe that the world is at the beginning of a shift away from car ownership to Transportation-as-a-Service, or TaaS. Lyft is at the forefront of this massive societal change,” they told investors.

“Car ownership has … economically burdened consumers. US households spend more on transportation than on any expenditure other than housing. … On a per household basis, the average annual spend on transportation is over $9,500, with the substantial majority spent on car ownership and operation.” Cars create “inequality,” they argue. “The average cost of a new vehicle in the United States has increased to over $33,000, which most American households cannot afford,” the IPO says. “We estimate over 300,000 Lyft riders have given up their personal cars because of Lyft.”

• Car sales in Britain declined 18.2% in January. It was the eighth successive month of decline. • Sales in Turkey declined 60%. •Europe-wide, sales are down around 6%. • In the US, total car registrations have declined by about 10% • Tire sales – a proxy for vehicle production – are down in China, too.

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The power of Bayer and Monsanto will make us commit collective suicide.

Toxic Agrochemicals And Regulators’ Collusion With Industry (OffG)

Dr Mason had been writing to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the EU Commission for an 18-month period, challenging them about ECHA’s positive assessment of glyphosate. Many people around the world had struggled to understand how and why the US EPA and the EFSA concluded that glyphosate is not genotoxic (damaging to DNA) or carcinogenic, whereas the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency, the IARC, came to the opposite conclusion. The IARC stated that the evidence for glyphosate’s genotoxic potential is “strong” and that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. While IARC referenced only peer-reviewed studies and reports available in the public literature, the EPA relied heavily on unpublished regulatory studies commissioned by pesticide manufacturers.

In fact, 95 of the 151 genotoxicity assays cited in the EPA’s evaluation were from industry studies (63%), while IARC cited 100% public literature sources. Another important difference is that the EPA focused its analysis on glyphosate in its pure chemical form, or ‘glyphosate technical’. The problem with that is that almost no one is exposed to glyphosate alone. Applicators and the public are exposed to complete herbicide formulations consisting of glyphosate plus added ingredients (adjuvants). The formulations have repeatedly been shown to be more toxic than glyphosate in isolation. The European Ombudsman has now rejected Rosemary Mason’s complaint who has in turn written a 25-page response documenting the wide-ranging impacts of glyphosate-based Roundup and other agrochemicals on human health and the environment.

She also outlines the various levels of duplicity that have allowed many of these chemicals to remain on the commercial market. Mason is led to conclude that, due to the rejection of her complaint (as with others lodged by her to the Ombudsman), the European Ombudsman Office is also part of the problem and is essentially colluding with European pesticide regulatory authorities. Mason has addressed this concern directly to Emily O’Reilly, who currently holds the post of European Ombudsman: “In your rejection of all my complaints over the last few years, it is clear that The Ombudsman’s Office is protecting the European pesticides regulatory authorities, who are in turn being controlled by the European Glyphosate Task Force…. You have turned a blind eye to the authorisation of many of the toxic pesticides that are on the market today because industry is being allowed to self-regulate.”

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The things that must be turned around. We’ve gone much too far.

“The bats – also known as flying foxes – are resorting to eating in orchards to survive because only 5 per cent of Mauritius’s native forests remain..”

Endangered Fruit Bats ‘Being Driven To Extinction’ In Mauritius (Ind.)

Scientists are suing the Mauritian government for “driving endangered fruit bats towards extinction”, after mass culls killed at least half their population. More than 50,000 of the animals are thought to have been killed in three culls since 2015, in an attempt to protect fruit in orchards. The bats – also known as flying foxes – are resorting to eating in orchards to survive because only 5 per cent of Mauritius’s native forests remain, animal experts warned. Fruit bats are vital for biodiversity as they pollinate flowers and scatter seeds, enabling trees and plants to grow and spread, according to conservationists. But populations of the flying foxes have fallen by more than 50 per cent in four years, said Vincent Florens, an ecologist at the University of Mauritius. Some believe fewer than 30,000 now remain.

Tigga Kingston, a biologist and bat specialist for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, said the fewer animals remain, the more vulnerable they will be to natural disasters, disease and habitat loss, leading to extinction. Britain’s Bat Conservation Trust has pleaded for the culls to end, citing research that found they accounted for only 10 per cent of fruit plant damage. The first cull, in 2015, killed 30,000, and in a second cull, the following year, 7,380 were targeted. The IUCN then raised the bats’ status from vulnerable to endangered. But the latest cull involved 13,000. Prof Florens said he believed the number killed is much higher than the 50,300 government figure. “The culls took place late in the year, when many mothers were pregnant or had babies,” he told National Geographic. “You shoot one bat and basically kill two.” Others were likely to have been injured and died later, he said.

At least 50,000 fruit bats have been culled in Mauritius since they have been forced to survive on orchard fruits because of deforestation (iStock )

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Home Forums Debt Rattle March 4 2019

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    Robert Frank London 1951-52   • US, China Said To Appear Close To Deal To Roll Back Tariffs (R.) • Beijing To Encourage ‘Shadow’ Lending To Boost
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle March 4 2019]

    V. Arnold

    Robert Frank London 1951-52

    Very interesting photograph.
    It would be easy, given the time, to project quite a lot into/onto that picture; but I’ll resist such…
    But many possibilities for sure…
    It’s one of the things that make it so interesting…


    ZH article about US voter preference, while they may have a point, hides glaring fact that any discussion about obvious criminality is also labeled as “socialist” and thrown into the same bag. Label usually comes with good measure of vomit about Stalin and Mao while they are at it .
    One of my favorite “Pixsons” yesterday. Artist head was painted, both, with the steady gaze at the model
    and looking at task before him and thus becomes animated. Not sure who was the lucky girl and could not recall if he had known Dora in 1926.

    Dr. D

    “Meng claims they detained, searched and interrogated her before telling her she was under arrest.”

    Well in the U.S., which has much more defined rights (that we seldom follow) this is perfectly legal. The clause is called ‘habeus corpus’ whereby a person can be detained without arrest for 24 hours. If someone is being detained, it is necessary for safety to search each detainee for contraband, dangerous objects, etc. before being left in detention. And I would certainly hope you would WANT to be asked questions, i.e. communicating with the state agency during this process. Clearly if they didn’t talk to you, that would be bad, so it’s hard to sue for it. In the U.S. also (again strictly in theory), you can REFUSE to talk, and you can phone your solicitor to get matters underway. All perfectly normal.

    …And I have this weird feeling that it’s not as generous in China, although being the daughter of a billionaire in an oligarchy, a man who is also a transfer from the Red Army, she may have never been picked up in the street by the Chinese police and given a good dose of Chinese law and order. But hey, she can file, there’s no law against it. But maybe she should think twice before flying into an extradition country WHILE THERE’S AN OPEN WARRANT FOR HER ARREST, written in all the Interpol computers that as a party member, her and her company, her father and all of China have complete access to? It ain’t a secret. Don’t poke them in the eye and then whine about it, they wouldn’t have been nearly so generous to me. …Or you could just enter illegally, because that gives you way more rights now; it would just be catch-and-release, then you jump bail.

    “[It is] vital to be strictly guided by the principles of the UN Charter”

    He’s speaking to the country that just approved of toppling an elected leader with a U.S.-trained bystander who never ran for or held office, between elections, with no law or mitigating factor even pretended. This is the country that has the largest pile of chemical weapons, is the only nation to use an atomic bombs on multiple cities, regularly uses land mines and cluster bombs in civilian theatres, and just today dropped white phosphorus in a war zone they are illegally invading, in violation of U.N. and Geneva conventions in order to steal $2B of Syrian gold they have no claim to.

    Good luck!

    “It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice,”

    …And because it’s so clear and we have the evidence, we have to open 60 new investigations to prove and attain that evidence, the evidence we need to get, because we already have it. Meanwhile, opening FISA warrants 6-layers deep on every opposing Presidential candidate is NOT obstruction and NOT a crime we want to pursue. I say great! Trump can open boundless FISA investigations on all 14 Democratic presidential candidates and everyone they ever met and every dollar they ever spent since nobody minds and this is how we do things now. After they are elected, the Trump FBI can investigate and remove the elected president citing no evidence. Right?

    “America’s Trust in Mainstream Media Hits Rock Bottom (SCF)”

    Does this have something to do with how, even after being lambasted all yesterday, BuzzFeed still hasn’t removed their claim that Cohen has documented evidence that Trump ordered him to lie, something Cohen refuted last week and Mueller had to go on record saying never happened? And how the Covington articles, disproven within minutes of allegations, are still online today, despite being sued for more than their parent companies are worth? –Oh and NBC only yesterday reported falsely on a Bernie Sanders speech viewer had just seen hours before, AFTER CNN salted his town hall with nothing but anti-Bernie DNC operatives? Like that kind of rock bottom? …But it’s not rock bottom. They’ll do worse tomorrow.

    PS, he says “so long as it trashes conservatives.” But far from being silenced on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, and any open email service, Conservatives are being de-banked by Chase and others, following a long list of things de-banked that are legal but-we-don’t-like. So citizen THX1138, you can no longer get food or health vouchers, have fun under that bridge.


    Everyone has free speech, but some have more free speech than others. Wasn’t this exactly what Aaron Russo said? By the way, in Oppositeland the haters are the 81 year-old guys with red caps, not the kids who beat them up in the streets; the ones who question false allegations, not those who make them; and whistleblowers who reveal crimes, not those who commit them. Because when you are #AntiLogos, this is the only possible outcome.

    “We’re getting early signals from Democratic primary voters that they are looking for … someone who agrees with them on policy,”

    I hope they didn’t spend a lot of money on this study.

    “only 38% of respondents said they would support a third-party candidate”

    “Only”? In statistical terms, that’s probably more than support D’s and R’s.

    “Carpocalypse Now: We’re in the Endgame for Cars (BI)”

    1) Subsidize every private business like roads and oil, while cutting every public option like trolleys and railroads.
    2) Erase all public transportation for 100 years, making the public system worse than Bolivia. Leave it this way while wasting so much money you could restore and rebuild the system every 60 hours.
    3) Raise car prices multiples higher than people can afford by mandating or force-offering features nobody wants.
    4) Claim to solve the problems government created with subsidies and regulation with MORE subsidies and regulation.
    5) When inevitable crisis comes, make cars de-facto illegal either by insurance, cost, or by green policy.
    6) Hand all profit to your friends who will track every citizen while they applaud the complete loss of physical mobility, giving insiders tyrannical power over uppity citizens, as described in their papers for 50 years, but can be seen in movies such as “Minority Report”
    7) Profit!

    My idea?
    1) Stop government subsidizing private corporations, the definition of a “fascist state.”
    2) Stop subsidizing wars for Exxon and the merger of state foreign policy for corporate profits.
    3) The cost of oil and roads both rise, and people respond by re-localizing and driving fewer miles.
    4) Mass transportation becomes marginally profitable.
    5) As they haven’t taken $7 Trillion for wars plus $1 Trillion in oil subsidies, I now have money to spend on that transportation and increased oil cost.
    6) Land greens as less is used, more is saved, strip malls stop being built on farmland, roads are de-classed.
    7) Lack of Profit! GDP falls, car sales fall, oil use falls, defense spending falls, payment to congressmen and Wall Street falls.

    …It’s not the OWNERSHIP of the car that’s the problem. Everyone still drives only 7-9am and 4-6pm, and barring other changes, you’ll need roughly the same number of Ubers as you would civilian cars. That ownership is only used for control and tracking of peasants, so that only wealthy Congressmen and insiders will own cars and afford privacy. Similar to the Soviet regime?

    “Britain’s Bat Conservation Trust has pleaded for the culls to end,”

    I don’t want to pick on them but really, you have no jurisdiction, little leverage, and every creature in your own country is dead, especially the bats since all your bugs are dead. Maybe you could go save Britain first? The White Man’s Burden never ends.

    Dr. D


    Our President is in the WWE Hall of Fame.

    Not sure Idiocracy was supposed to be an instruction manual.


    Its amazing the numbers of indicators that are demonstrating …..

    Yesterday is gone

    Can’t afford education
    Can’t afford to buy a home
    Can’t afford to buy a car
    Can’t afford to hire a debt slave

    Can’t get rich

    Can’t become an elite

    Can’t get out of your class

    John Day

    Further minimalism…
    Riding a bicycle is really energy efficient. It does require the existence of roads to be that efficient, which is a huge assumption. They currently exist.
    In the days before I had a car I carried some really long lumber strapped to my bike a couple of times, and pretty far, 5-10 miles. Not fun in traffic…
    When we bike toured as a family in Europe and New Zealand, we carried our own stuff on our bikes from hostel to hostel. That is really efficient, but hard, and there have to be hostels. We rarely met folks camping that way, first a German family, then an Austrian man and a family from Tasmania.
    The folks who bike camped were very impressive, indeed, carrying much heavier loads than we were. It placed them upon a pedastal of nearly super-human endeavor in our estimation.
    That’s good context. It’s a really advanced level. I bike camped some in Germany in summer of 1981, and gave up on it pretty quickly after everything got wet. That’s the problem with tent camping, it’s a fair weather activity.
    That’s not quite the end of that thought, though…

    This guy made a bike camping trailer for $150 and what looks like a couple of years of work, with this being the second project. It is a really refined and well engineered design, an exercise in using the least which works well, and everything working together. It is waterproof, well insulated, aerodynamic, very light and includes the essential functionality for surviving bad weather and sleeping restfully, anywhere. He largely used plastic political campaign signs and duct tape for the outer shell, and aluminized bubble insulation inside, on a 1″ X 2″ wood frame, supporting more of that plastic and a foam mattress. Note that is is low enough to sit in the end with feet comfortably on the ground, chair height.


    After my daily dose of TAE, and yes I take exception to certain conclusions in thinking that are part of the litany of topics, I do also find no small portion to be informative and worthy of my time. I also read my twice weekly dose of Kunstler. Lord knows why I bother anymore. The sarcasm, disdain, general condescension and often the inanity of the topics along with his dozen or so coterie in the comment section leave me with little of value but an appreciation of creative word smithing. I expect it’s more habit than anything else.

    I then read this by Dahr Jamail and Barbara Cecil at Truthout .org. The message, while completely dire in its scope of things yet to come, left me with such a deep appreciation of the possibility in life and the essence of what is and could be for myself, family, and humanity, along with a depathologization of passing’s. Perhaps you will enjoy it as well.

    Rethink Activism in the Face of Catastrophic Biological Collapse

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